By Josh Krubner
Spectre is akin to a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s not great. It’s somewhere between good and ok. A truly forgettable and average experience.
But that’s not what you came here for is it?
While it’s true I always wait a full week/minimum of 24 hours before doing any kind of in depth spoiler review, I have NO qualms doing an in depth spoiler review/rant on the state of the industry when it pertains to one of top ten favorite Bond movies, one that came out in 1969.
Spectre: A spoiler (of sort) review/rant on On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Spectre or “Court of Owls: Rogue Nation Majesty’s Secret Service.”
is slapped together horrendously lazy attempt at doing a “Bond by Numbers." The entire thing felt as if Brocoli’s daughter (granddaughter? It’s been 50 yrs who can keep up?) and her childhood friends went into the attic and put on the grownup clothes to go through the motions without any heart of substance.
Spectre is the perfect example of “Chekov’s gun firing blanks” it’s all foreplay and no payoff.
Bond has now spent 2 ½ movies bitching about the love of his life, Vesper Lynd – oh believe me we’ll get to that, and he’s now added on the events of Skyfall to that guilt. For the one person out there who hasn’t seen Skyfall, stop reading right… here.
As I’m sure the rest of you know, they killed M/Judi Dench. This sets up Bond’s rogue/secret/unsanctioned/and possible “last” mission, which I hoped would reveal that M was a double agent, working with Spectre for her own “right” reasons, and Bond simply got caught in the crossfire. Seeing Bond deal with his guilt and then his feelings of betrayal for a character no longer even with us would have been great. I didn’t write this movie, so naturally NONE of that happened. Instead, anyone who has seen any of the 60s Bonds –or as Clerks 2 would say – “Anne fucking Frank, could see who the mastermind behind Spectre would be.”
Here’s the story of Spectre; a shadow anti-government is trying to control the world’s surveillance/rule the world in their own 2015 way. This group has a “leader” who desires world domination. Do I really need to say, “he also has a cat?"
Bond is charged with protecting the daughter of a former enemy who might just somehow be the right woman for him. Did I mention she is located in the Italian alps atop a ski chalet/clinic?
If these events sound at all familiar, they should, as they are ripped almost point for point/scene for scene from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The problem being, they don’t do that movie ANY justice, and miss every possible notion of what made that movie excellent.
Bond meets Tracy (played by Diana Rigg), Contessa Teresa Di Vincenzo, in the middle of a suicide attempt over the death of her child and husband. Tracy is a true bad girl/gangster’s daughter taking the name “Tracy” because she insists that “Teresa is a saint,” something that she is not. She’s the first woman to one night stand Bond, bruising his ego and sending him into the arms of multiple empty-headed girls at the ski chalet, and she’s the first to win his heart as he realizes he’s bored with the other women and has finally found his equal.
Throughout the years, Bond girls had some pretty telling and often-times hilarious names. Madeline Swann, is of course the picturesque “good girl/innocent, with a heart of gold." This is NOT what Bond wants, or what Bond needs, and the Craig Bond already had his “Tracy” with Vesper, which the movie reminds us of OVER and OVER. I get it, it would take a lot/be impossible to get over my future ex wife, Eva Green, but if the character is “moving on,” he needs to actually move on.
She looks and feels like the epitome of “doey-eyed rebound girl” when you’re trying to get over and forget a real and passionate relationship with someone who left an actual mark on you. She tells Bond not to fall asleep guarding her. He gets drunk and falls asleep. He lies to her and manipulates her, which she finds out… and then Waltz tells her about Vesper/outright reveals Bond doesn’t really care about her if he didn’t even mention Vesper. And she’s all “lol I love him."
Lazenbond and Diana Rigg allegedly had a “short-lived on set romance." One or the other insists they were only ever friends, but Lazenby revealed in 2011 that it was “set to progress” but he got caught by Diana banging the on-set receptionist in the stunt man’s tent in true Bond fashion. That did it for them, and their scenes of “fighting and fucking, loving and hating” feel REAL as a result. Craig not only doesn’t want to be Bond at this point, he doesn’t even want to look at Lea Seydoux in this movie, and it shows. Taking it as far as they did, they didn’t even have the balls or the followthrough to recapture OHMSS’s powerful ending scene, the darkest and most controversial in the entire series.
As a forgettable Craig Bond movie, it’s better than Quantum and gets a solid C.
As a “Majesty’s ripoff/remake” it gets an F or a 1/10. Save your money and watch Majesty’s instead.